Your little one’s artwork is transitioning from scribbles to stick figures, and they’re learning to color inside the lines. As their coordination improves, start thinking about swapping the crayons for pencils and teaching them how to write.
Children usually first attempt writing during the preschool years, but many parents are left wondering how to teach children to write. The best way for parents to go about teaching children to write is to write with them. We often forget about writing because we spend so much of our own time texting and writing emails . Swiping or poking at a screen does not help a child to develop the skills they need for school and writing.
Swap the tablet for a clean sheet of paper and learn about teaching children to write with these 6 easy tips:
1. Determine Their Dominant Hand
You know that you’re right-handed, but that may not be the case for your little one. Before picking up a pencil, look for clues to determine which hand is their dominant one. Which hand do they use to brush their teeth or to reach for their toys? If they instinctively use their left hand, they might just be left-handed. Determining your child’s dominant hand will make learning to write a lot easier.
2 .Teach Them Proper Grip
It’s really important to make sure your child is holding their pencil and sitting correctly when writing. When you first introduce a pencil to your child, they’ll probably hold it with a tightly closed fist. You can encourage a proper grip by offering them a smaller pencil or even a broken crayon to practice with instead. Your child should pinch the pencil between their thumb and index finger and rest it on the side of the index finger.
3. Show Proper Posture
One of the most important things to keep in mind when teaching handwriting skills is that children need a stable base of support so that the arm and hand can move freely while writing. Therefore, make sure that children are sitting properly in a chair and desk. Children should sit with the hips and knees bent at a 90 degree angle; feet flat on the floor and the desk height should be 2 to 4 centimetres higher than bent elbows.
4. Provide Easy Access to Writing Materials
Keep a supply of paper, pens, crayons and pencils on hand to promote writing. To start, have lined notebook paper for your child so they can learn to write in a straight line. Also, make sure their writing area is well-lit with an even surface. Keep this area available to your child at all times — you never know when they might want to sit down and write!
5. Encourage Everyday Writing
If you’re heading out to the shops, ask your child to help you write the shopping list. Going to birthday party? Encourage them to sign their name on the card. There are so many everyday opportunities where you child can practice writing while playing. They could draw pictures, make cards and post them out to grandparents or other family members. This can be a great way to involve your child if they’re hesitant to sit down and practice writing on their own.
6. Be Creative and Have Fun
You don’t have to do boring drills when teaching children to write. Parents can also do other activities or crafts with children that help to promote their fine motor skills. Make a beaded necklace, play with clay or build a birdhouse! Pinterest is a great site for parents to visit to get ideas for fun nursery school and school-aged activities.
There’s no doubt about it — good writing skills are key to your child’s academic success. They are more likely to perform better in school if they have good writing skills. By instilling proper techniques and making it fun, your child will develop a love for writing!
If your child could do with a helping hand, check out a range of tutors near you on Care.com.